Friday, July 31, 2009

Thinking About Leaving Work Because THIS Is What I'm Doing

My Life According To Dave Matthews

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 12 (or a million) people you like. Do not repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "My Life According to (BAND NAME)"

1. Are you a male or female? “Rapunzel”

2. How do you feel? “Crush”

3. Describe where you currently live? “One Sweet World”

4. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? “Grey Street”

5. Your favorite form of transportation? “Smooth Rider”

6. Your best friend? “Too Much”7. What's the weather like? “Don’t Drink The Water”

8. Favorite time of day? “Seven”

9. If your life was a TV show, what would it be called? “The Best Of What’s Around”

10. What is life to you? “The Dreaming Tree”

11. Your fear? “You Might Die Trying”

12. What is the best advice you have to give? “Break Free” and “Dive In”

13. Thought for the day: “Shake Me Like A Monkey”

14. How I would like to die: “Lying In The Hands Of God”

15. My soul's present condition: “Hunger For The Great Light”

16. My motto: “Two Step”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are You Tired God? It's me, Katie...again.

This post of John's from Stuff Christians Like completely touched my heart yesterday that I couldn't help but not share the wealth. (P.S. You're totally going to need to go ahead and click on that link there and just read all about it. The rest of this post may not make much sense if you don't.)

Have you ever felt like God gets tired of hearing the same old thing from you? Have you ever thought that may God cringes when you come to him and ask him to explain things to you over and over and over again?

I do.

And I definitely have recently.

There are so many lessons that we sometimes have to learn over and over and over again before we finally get what God is trying to teach us.

There are also so many things in life that we don't understand at all so we constantly approach God, sometimes in a not-so-humble way, and ask him to tell. us. what's. going. on. already.

I know I have. I did it just the other night.

There are so many things in life that I can totally give up to the Lord, no questions asked. I've slowly become one of those "God's got it all under control" people. You definitely know that if you know me personally or read pretty much anything I write. I'm very quick to bring all back to that point when everything seems to start going downhill.

I'm not much of a worrier. I know where my future lies and I know that there's not much I can do to change it's path in the grand scheme of things.

However, being a single girl of (now) 26 years of age, I can't seem to let go of the one thing that I seem to think I can control. The singleness. (Duhn duhn duhn. I know. It sounds like THE PLAGUE!)

No matter how much I pray or other people pray or how many times I say that I know He's got it all under control, I'm still such an indian giver.

It's like I'm all:

"Here ya go, God. I'm pretty sick of dealing with this so you can go ahead and take."

And then God's all like:

"Yeah, I got it Katie. I mean, it's not like I've been standing right here all along with my hands out ready to receive it or anything."

And then like a week later, I'm all like:

"Um, God. I think I want that problem back now. I'm pretty sure I can handle it now. See there's this guy. And he's pretty cool. And I think he's kinda into me and everything. So...I think I'll take it from here."

And before God can answer me back and tell me how completely wrong I am (again) and that he's got it covered (againa), I snatch it away from him. What. is. my. malfunction! Right?!?!

Then I'm struggling with all these other problems: too old, too young. too tall, too short. too good, too bad. too nice, too mean. too worried about what other people think. has no manners whatsoever. way too into sports (I know totally impossible, right? completely possible, people.). not into sports enough. blah. blah. blah.

Then God smacks me in the head and I realize that if I'd just let God take that little problem and fix it for me, I wouldn't be so stressed out about it.

Besides, it's for my own good. If I'm preoccupied with stuff like that, I don't have time to think about and enjoy the things that God wants me to think about and enjoy. Like Him. And everything that has to do with him. His glory. His creation. His people. His daily gifts and new mercies.

So, I think that I'm going to stop indian giving and try the whole giving-it-up-fully-with-a-humble-heart thing. And see how it goes. My magic 8-ball says outlook is good.

What do you need to stop indian giving?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WHAT?!?!

Dear sweet Lord, I've had over 10,000 views to my blog since I added that little bad-boy counter a couple of years ago.

Holla if you folla!

(In English, that means comment if you are visiting.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

25 Years and Stuff to Share

Yesterday was my birthday. Yes, I know. Happy Birthday to me! The celebration still isn't over.

I was greeted at work by a nice large cookie cake sitting in my chair, compliments of Hollie, and then we headed to Wings for lunch (FREE lunch) so I could satisfy my fried dill pickle urge.

Tonight will be the small group outing, with dinner at Red Robin (hmmh! If you've seen the commercial, you got that. If not, I'm sorry.), then back to the house for the regular Monday Night Movie Night.

Tomorrow I'll meet my b-fry Kyle in Tuscaloosa for the final dinner birthday bash, which is a good note to end on because well, Kyle is the best.

I turned 26 on the 26th and I thought I'd wake up feeling different but I don't really. I'm still feeling the effects of the NYC hangover. I'm missing it in a bad way. I don't think I'd ever want to live there but I just had so much fun, saw so much, watched God work in big ways, and made a new friend. I actually miss it more than I thought I would.

And Central Park? I think I have a crush on you. You've been running through my mind since I left. You must be tired. (Ha. Coulnd't resist.)

-------------------------------------------------------

25 was a good year for me. I would venture to say that I learned a whole lot in this one year and changed a whole lot too. I went through a quarter-life crisis and came out with more faith in my God than I thought was possible.

I've learned new lessons, made new friends, and reached an all-time low in my obsession with reality television. Yeah, Bachelorette and Big Brother. You heard me.

See, I've got this bucket list. I keep adding to it but this past year, the year o' 25, I knocked off several. And I'm pretty proud of it.

1. I saw Dave Matthews in concert. Memphis, August 2.
2. I went back to NYC. July.
3. I saw Wicked.
4. I got to go to Central Park.
5. I saw Ground Zero.
6. I saw the Red Sox play. (Although, this was a month before I turned 25, I'm still counting it.)
7. I went to the Brooklyn Tabernacle.
8. I went to the Museum of Natural History. (Although, I'm giving myself half a point because I didn't exactly see all of it.)
9. I went to the Georgia Aquarium.

I also had a few firsts this year too.

1. First country concert.
2. First time to lead "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at a collegiate baseball game.
3. First solo in NYC.
4. First time to touch a Sting Ray and a shark. (See Georgia Aquarium).

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them right now.

Here's to hoping I get to check more things off on my list this next year.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, I have two videos and a blog post to share.

Enjoy!

Presidential first pitch comparison.

Interesting video about LOST.



This performance on last week's So You Think You Can Dance had me straight up ugly crying on the couch.



And the judges' comments made it worse.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Well, we finally got home last night around 8:30 p.m. I've never been so happy to see Jackson, Mississippi.

We got stuck in Detroit overnight because our flight from Detroit to Jackson on Thursday was cancelled. Let me tell you, Detroit was not as cool as I thought it would be. I tried looking on the bright side of things, telling myself and my family that it's just one more state we can check off our list but by the time Friday morning rolled around, I was miserable.

I'm not going to lie, while we were in Detroit, all I wanted was to either be in Mississippi with family and friends or back in New York with new friends and seeing more sights. Someone is going to have to convince me somethin' good that Detroit isn't such a bad place now because I'm thinking I don't ever want to go back there.

Over all though, it was a great week. I didn't go into the trip with any expectations because I didn't want to be disappointed if things didn't really pan out. I went in trusting God that he was going to work out what he wanted to be worked out and work in his own way.

God showed himself faithful all throughout the week, turning bad situations to good and bringing his people closer together to bring glory to His name.

My favorite part of the week was the Bowery Mission as I wrote about here as well as making new friends.

As we were finally on the plane headed back towards the South, I really became enamored with seeing God's creation from a different perspective.



It's really interesting to see Earth from above the clouds. It's kind of peaceful and you think how in the world could some of the things that are happening right now happening. But then I remember how God is in control and seeing His creation from a bird's eye view reaffirms that truth for me. And brings me to an awesome place in my relationship with him.



Stay tuned for some of my favorite pictures from the trip. It's going to be hard to pick just a few. I'm sure I'll make a slideshow with most of them soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We Gotta Pray Just To Make It Today

I"m a huge believer in the power of prayer. Prayer has undoubtedly saved the lives of several family members, healed sickness for just a little while and even forever.

Prayer has drawn me out of some of the most troubling times of my life and saved my best friend from an eternity in hell.

Prayer has built up churches all across the world and torn down governments and leaders who were up to no good.

In so many words, prayer works y'all.

See, prayer is this neat thing we Christians use to talk to our God. Some of us are good at it and some aren't. Me? I'm one of those that isn't really good at it. But you want to know some good news? God doesn't care if I'm good at it or not because in his eyes, elaborate words and fancy phrases aren't what make me or you a good pray-er. It's our honest and humble heart that we bring before him.

We all think that prayer is the "Dear God, Amen" type thing. The truth is, there should be no beginning or end. The Bible says to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You know what ceasing means? Yeah, no stopping. Like never ending. It's a continuous conversation with our Lord. Our best friend.

And the awesome thing about it is that its unlimited. Free nights and weekends. No overage fees. No operators standing by. Because there's no need.

See, back in the day, like before Christ, people wanting to bring their requests to God had to take it to the highest priest in their church. They had a "go-to guy", if you will. But the neat thing about that is that when Jesus came, he totally put that guy out of business. Jesus said, "Hey dude, we're not going to be needing you to do that anymore. Feel free to stick around a help out with the people's needs and the clean up and stuff, but I got this whole praying thing covered. If people want to speak to my Father, they can just come to me (John 14:6)." Because you know what. The Father and the Son are one in the same.

(FYI, that's my favorite part of the Superman Returns movie. "The son will become like the father, and the father like the son." Brilliant.)

Anyway, so because Jesus/the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf to the God the Father, we can pray however, whenever, wherever, and however long we want to. And we don't even have to use words. He's our interpreter.

Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

I'm seen God does some crazy good things as a result of his people praying. He's always faithful to answer our prayers, although they may not be in the way we want him to. See I've been praying for husband for about five years now and well I'm still as single as a one dollar bill. But I've come to understand that he doesn't just put desires in people's hearts for no reason and he's God. He's not a vending machine. He's not always going to give us what we want, when we want it. It's always in his perfect timing.

When I start feeling really pitiful and resentful about being single, I think on the things that God has allowed me to do because I wasn't single. There are so many ministry opportunities that I've been able to be a part of because I wasn't tied down to a significant other. He's allowed me to use my past and present experiences to minister to and bond with girls that are younger than I am that are thinking and feeling the same things I am. And most importantly, it's one less distraction that I have from Him. God has shown up in big ways in the last little bit and I can't help but think if I would've missed those appearances had I been focusing all my attention on some boy.

God wants me all to himself for right now, and I'm pretty okay with that. I mean, I guess I don't have a choice in the matter, huh?

Anyway, this post went from one thing to another but I got inspired after reading Jim Cymbala's book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Cymbala is the pastor at The Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York and his wife is the minister of music.

This book is filled with stories from Jim Cymbala about how the power of prayer and Spirit of God took a rundown church in Brooklyn, N.Y., and transformed it into a body of believers who desire to live in the center of what God is doing in the community around them and the world. Through complete faith in God's provision and petitioning the Lord for their needs, The Brooklyn Tabernacle has transformed the lives of the people in their community and brought them to the heart of God.

So, I want to do two things.

Number one. I want to ask you first for prayer. My parents and I will fly out at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning (July 18) to join many others from First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss., on a mission trip/choir tour to New York City. We will be there until Thursday and will be doing several concerts as well as mission work with the homeless, Bowery Mission and the New York Fire Department.

Here are several things I ask you to pray for:
- Traveling mercies (safety to and from airports, in the air and on the ground, no lost luggage and smooth journeys)
- Safety throughout the duration of the stay. It's New York, y'all. Although I've been there twice before, it's still New York, y'all.
- Good health. I'm nursing a head cold acquired from the beach and I have to sing a solo in one of the concerts. I'm significantly better than I was a few days ago but the voice is still a little rough.
- No distractions. This trip is different than say going to Honduras or Africa. There's a lot in NYC that can distract me from what I'm really there for. Pray that my eyes are focused on what God is doing rather then the "pretty lights and neon signs."
- Pray for the people that we will be working with as well as anyone who may hear us sing. Let everything we do be a reflection of God's glory and may the Lord prepare the hearts that he wants touched.

I will hopefully be blogging about what's going on during our trip. And I'll be doing it over here. I hope I'll have time to do it every day because I want to talk about it while it's fresh on my mind but that all depends on internet access and time.

Number two. I want to be praying for you as well. Whether you are a regular reader or just happened upon this page, it's not by accident. Please leave a comment or feel free to email me (KtJane726@gmail.com) with anything that I can be praying for. You don't have to leave your name. Just let me know what I can pray for. And I will.

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." James 5:13-18

International Justice Day

What's your favorite holiday and what does it mean to you? You know, like most people love Christmas because of all the presents and fun songs and stuff. Or Thanksgiving, with all it's abundance of food and football and dog shows and parades. Fourth of July and the fireworks. Memorial Day marks the start of summer. Labor Day marks the end.

But what do those days really mean? What's the meaning behind them?

International Justice Day is a day when we all should open our eyes wide to the injustices of this world and see that we can do something about it. For me, it's becoming a day that I realize what's going on outside this bubble world of mine and get on my knees to plead to the Almighty on behalf of those who can't. Because alone I can't do a thing about it. But with Him, I've got all the help I need. You know, He's got the whole world in His hands, right?

Y'all, if you haven't already figured it out, there's some crazy business going on up in this world. Genocide, hunger, fatal disease, human trafficking, poverty, child labor, lack of education or medical care. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on.

Many organizations lend their help to promote this day. Today, I'm helping Mocha Club spread the word.

Watch this video. It's pretty awesome.


So.

What's it going to mean to you?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again...Only Until Thursday Though

So I'm back from the beach and I brought a little sumn' summ' back with me. Wanna know what it is? Nope. Not sand or seashells. Ok, ok. A few clothing items I picked up from the outlet but that's not what I'm talking about.

Give up?

I brought back some sort of string of the Bubonic Plague. Ok. Not really. But I woke up Monday morning feeling like I'd swallowed the fire of a thousand suns. And then I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been hit by a freight train.

So, I think it's safe to say that Katie is not in good health.

I knew this would happen though. And here's why. I'm flying out to NYC on Saturday for a mission trip with my parents' church. It's a choir trip. Which means there will be singing. Of which I will be partaking in. And I will be singing a solo in one of the pieces.

I always get sick before I'm supposed to sing somewhere big. Always. Examples? Don't mind if I do.

1. Tenth grade. First big solo in Colonel Classics. Had to relinquish it because I seriously could not get the notes out of my mouth.
2. Eleventh grade. Lead role in the school musical. Two weeks before I got sick and barely got my voice back by opening night.

I could go on. But I won't.

So, I'm pill-popping like tomorrow is the last day that the world will ever sell prescription or over-the-counter drugs. In moderation, of course. No habits here.

Whatevs.

On to the really good stuff. You people didn't come here to hear me whine about my sickness. You came to see pictures of the cuteness that is Sir William Charles Johnson, a.k.a, the nephew.

We got down to the beach (Orange Beach, Ala.) on Thursday evening and I left Monday evening to get back to work today. I got a great tan, bonded with the nephew and the fam, and relaxed somethin' big. I also found a new favorite place to eat. Ribs & Reds. Best royal red shrimp I've ever had.

Anyway, on to the pictures. I don't have any of me because I was too busy taking them of my nephew. I think my dad has a good one of me and William. Hope to get it soon.


This is my favorite thing ever.

This is such a classic picture. I used to love doing this.

This kid loves showing his teeth!

And of course, the beach picture. Please excuse the naked man at the bottom left. I promise he had shorts on and he totally crashed my picture party here.

Anyhoo. There ya go. I'll be back again this week with some bloggity goodness. Hopefully.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Few Things To Share and A Few Things To Say

First a few things to share...

This post by BigMama had me literally falling out of my chair laughing with tears streaming down my face.

This post by Bryan Allain had me chuckling too. Probably because I could pick out at least one guy I know for every thing he mentioned.

And this on John Acuff's Stuff Christians Like is incredibly written. I love some good truth sprinkled with a dash of sarcasm. That's how I roll.

Now, a few things to say...

I hate the fact that I've gotten sucked into the world that is The Bachelor/Bachelorette. And that I've started blogging about it. However, this is the raw truth. My name is Katie. I'm obsessed. I'm also opinionated. Hence, el bloggo.

My dear friends, if you haven't been watching this God-awful show. Don't start now. Turn away from the light, Carol Ann.

The poltergiest that is The Bachelorette has sucked me in and won't let go. I'm invested in the lives of people I don't know and now I'm hoping that the one that doesn't get picked will receive an offer to be the next Bachelor so that I can pretend that I would apply and they would pick me to be on the show and he would give me the final rose and we would livehappilyeveraftertheend.

But seeing as how I'm totally against public displays of affection and that show is just one big public display of affection with all the cameras and such and considering that I'm just really against sleeping in fantasy suites with people I've only know for a month and half, I'm pretty sure the odds of this girl being on the Bachelor are about slim to none. However, I would totally take advantage of the opportunity to be the Bachelorette and revolutionize that show. Can we say open and close every rose ceremony with prayer and communion?

Anyhoo, I do have to comment on the sleeze that is "Wes the Country Singer" and the preciousness that is Ed and my excitement that he lives to see another day in the eyes of our Bachelorette Jillian.

For those of you that don't know, Wes who is a country singer (thank you, Captain Obvious), has had a target on his back from the git-go with rumors and allegations that he came on the show with alternative motives (i.e., he had a girlfriend and was just looking for some pub for his soon-to-be unsuccessful country album). In previous weeks, Jillian had been warned by several of the guys about Wes' antics and Jillian, like any self-respecting Canadian would, gave him the benefit of the doubt. (I don't blame her. I'm the queen of "the benefit of the doubt". It never goes well.)

Anyway, last week perfect-but-precious-and-previously-booted Jake (nice alliteration, Katie) came back into the picture to warn Jillian one last time about the sleeze that is Wes. She heeded his warning yet still decided to trust Wes and meet the family. (Duhn-duhn-duhn)

Fast forward to this week, and well...the poo hit the fan, so to speak. Watch here to see the dinner and then the limo ride. I've watched it three times already today and have seriously had to restrain myself from putting my fist through my computer screen. You may remember me saying I would love to do this to him one day. All I need is a plane ticket to Austin.

Some gems that escaped Wes' mouth last night that I particularly loved, and when I say loved I mean I threw up a little in my mouth are:

"I'm gonna be true to myself...numero uno is most important here."

When waiting for the rose ceremony to begin:
"Well, guys, if it's me...you know I'll be home havin' lots of sex." Seriously, dude?!?! Do you want people to buy your album or not?

And in the limo:
"I's born at night but not last night."
"It's on like a bucket of neck bones."

And the classic:
"I'm in Spain...everybody's gonna know my name..."

And for some real classic Bachelor/Bachelorette behind-the-scenes info, read Chris Harrison's (the host) blog. That's some good stuff.

And now we can finally put the Wes thing to rest. At least until the "Men Tell All" and "After the Final Rose" episodes.

Before I change topics though, I have to talk about Ed the Precious, as I now like to refer to him. Ed left the show two weeks ago because he got an ultimatum from his boss. I couldn't blame him because in these economic times, a job ain't nothin' to be playin' with, yo. However, when you've known somebody for over a month and think you might be falling in love with them (insert buckets of super sarcasm), and you go back to your job and they are all you can think about for two weeks, you start to think you could've made a big mistake. And that's just what Ed did. And knowing how long it took Jillian to rebound from the hurt (because we all know two weeks is a long time to grieve the loss of your lover of a month), I was so excited to see Ed come back last week. Why? Well, because he's just the guy I'd pick for myself. Except he wouldn't be an IT guy, he'd be a coach or a minister. And he wouldn't live in ChiCAAAAAgo, he'd live in the Deep South, no more than four hours away from my family.

I do have to say that the part of their date that made me a little uncomfortable was the make-out session (fully clothed, praise Jesus) in the fountain while passersby stopped and stared. (See: previous mention about PDA) I kept whisper-yelling (because the roommate was asleep) at the television, "Jillian. You're in a fountain. And you have a white shirt on. And you're getting wet. Consequences abound, my dear!" Yet, when you are blinded by a thick cloud of passionate lust, you tend to forget the details.

But my favorite part of their date was during the evening session (I love how I've compared the Bachelorette dates to a some sort of convention -- day session, night session). Jillian was again lamenting about all the time they lost in the two weeks that Ed was back in ChiCAAAAAgo trying to save his job and began to ask what his family was like. After being asked what they would do after spending QT with the family, Ed responded, quite matter-of-factly: "Uh, Karaoke." Like there was no other option. And then I fell a little bit more in love with Ed the Precious. Because as we all know, the way to a girl's heart is through horribly sung 80's hits.

And that's my two cents on the Bachelorette.

Shifting gears and in closing, I became like a sheep today and joined the masses in watching the Michael Jackson Memorial. For two reasons: 1) It's all that was on. 2) I'd seen the same epidsode of Sportscenter three times already.

Although it was a very (is sweet the right word here?) celebration of Michael Jackson's life, career and humanitarianism, I couldn't help but realize the lack of Gospel represented in the memorium.

Of course, I loved when Stevie Wonder came out and sang (because frankly, Stevie Wonder is the bomb.com). And was mesmorized by John Mayer rockin' the guitar on "Human Nature". And I teared up a little when Usher sang. And then the kid from Britain's Got Talent came out and blew the roof off with his amazing rendition of "Who's Lovin' You". But I still sat there watching this production, like it was the Grammy's or something. I kept thinking, "Who is running this thing? Where is the stage manager?"

I realize that so many people were touched by MJ's music. So many. Like a whole world full. And folks, his legacy will never die. That's the good thing about music. It never, ever goes away. I, too, was touched. "Thriller" scared the fecal matter out of me the first time I saw it. "I Want You Back" will forever be one of my most favorite songs, and I will never hear it without thinking of my high school band doing the Michael Jackson theme my junior year and seeing my guy friends dancing to that song.

The only semblance of God I saw was when "The Reverand" Al Sharpton spoke (which I muted because I just can't stand to listen to the man. No offense. I just don't like his voice.), when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter quoted scripture and when his brother Marlon spoke of "our creator" and his belief of eternal life (which encouraged me a little).

But with all the "We Are The World" and "Heal The World" talk, I just wanted to go up to the top of the Vulcan here in Birmingham and scream, "It's not about him!" As I read a friend tweet today, "...so many confused people." And all I could say was "Amen".

I wanted to scream about the God who saves. The One who I hope saved Michael Jackson. The One who gives us hope in such times as these. The One who gives us the gifts like Michael had to use to honor His name. The One who gives, and takes away, only so we can see who He truly is and praise His name for it (Job 1:21).

Let's face it. The Michael Jackson we all knew and loved and idolized has been gone for a long, long time. And I'm sure we would have all be blessed to have known personally the Michael that so many people spoke of today. But instead of grieving his loss and speculating what happened and why it happened and who gets what in the will and plastering it all over the news for weeks when there are young men dying for our freedom overseas who aren't even recognized for their efforts, can we celebrate what he did for our culture, appreciate it and move on? And I don't mean "move" on in an apathetic way. I mean, let the man rest in peace and let his family and friends grieve the loss of a loved one without sticking a camera in their face and asking them to relive it over and over and over again.

I know God will get the glory from this. I mean, we don't have a say in that. He's going to get his glory no matter what. I just hope that the people who are idolizing MJ in such a messianic way, will see the One who created Michael and all the people of the world in His own image (Genesis 1:27), who sent his only Son to die for the world's salvation (John 3:16), and who defeated death so that we can live eternally with Him forever to bring glory and honor to the name of the Almighty God (Romans 8:21, 34-39).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Proof

Most people don't believe me when I tell them that my life is consumed by music and I feel like my life is a walking musical. They don't believe me when I tell them that it would not be a strange occurrence should a family member randomly burst into song and dance at a moment's notice.

Here's your proof:


video

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's Not The Fourth Until Ray Charles And Lee Greenwood Show Up

Hey people!

I had a great weekend and I hope you all did too.

I had Friday off, so I slept in (until about 11, which is early) and went shopping (jeans at GAP for $20? don't have to tell me twice). Then I met Hollie for a matinee at the Rave. We saw The Proposal. And it was H-I-Larry-O-U-S. I will be buying it when it comes out on DVD. Ryan Reynolds is so precious and so hilarious. And well, there are no words for Sandra Bullock. Hope Floats changed my life. The end.

Saturday, I went down to Prattville/Billingsly with Hollie to celebrate the Fourth with her charming little family. These people are country to the bone and I love them for it. We went down to her sister's house and laid in/by the pool and ate until we couldn't stand up. Seriously. Just looking at the amount of food gave me chest pains. But it was good. And there was homemade ice cream and watermelon. Hallelujah, praise the King. Amen.

We also decided to go a little ways down I-65 to Montgomery to the Biscuits game because a) they were having fireworks after, b) it was only $5 and c) they were playing our Barons! So Hollie's mom, Hollie and I headed down and enjoyed some baseball and fireworks. The Barons won 10-2 and the fireworks were spectacular. It was also so neat to see the players just laying around on the field like kids watching the fireworks. If it hadn't have been so dark, I would've take a picture because, well, it was a picture perfect moment.




I couldn't help but smile when the fireworks started and the music started playing. The Fourth of July is one of my most favorite holidays and fireworks are my favorite part. It never feels real until you hear those seven little words sung --- "...And I'm proud to be an American!" Ha. It's so cliche but with all the stuff that is going on in the world -- from Iraq to Honduras to North Korea -- I really couldn't help thinking how true those words were for me right now. I've found myself thanking God that I'm an American citizen more recently than I have ever before.

And then I heard Ray Charles singing "America the Beautiful" and I got all misty-eyed. It just seals the deal, doesn't it?

Of course, we didn't get in until almost 1 a.m., so I decided to just sleep in and go to church tonight to the 6 p.m. service. (Our church does the same service at night that they do in the morning.)

Let me tell you, my church is amazing. I'm continually in awe of the people that I am surrounded by and the leadership that God has placed in that church. God has richly blessed each and every one of them and they are so obedient in using their gifts to bring glory to his name.

I've been reminded so much lately of the real freedom that I have in Christ. Of course, the Fourth of July is a time when we celebrate our nation's anniversary of gaining our own freedom. But with that, I'm also reminded of the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ. Most people see salvation as freedom from sin. And it is. But recently I've been reminded that salvation gives me freedom to live the way I want to -- the way God wants me to. Because I'm reminded that I have a Savior who endured every trial that I could ever even imagine being faced with, and came out on top every time. That's so encouraging!

Anyhoo, I hope everyone had a fantastic Fourth! In less than four days, I'll be on my way to the beach for vacation with the family! Woohoo!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is REALLY going on in Honduras?

If you've read this or this or this, or seen this or this, you know I've been to Honduras and what a life-changing event it was for me. And how much I love Honduras and the people there now.

Recently, Honduras has been getting a lot of media coverage lately with the craziness that is going on with the president. If you don't know, read here. The article will tell you that it was a military coup. As you will read below, this is not so. President Obama even came out saying that the "coup" was illegal and that President Manuel Zelaya should remain the president. He had no clue what he was talking about.

Please read the below emails that I receive from a friend, Emily, who is currently teaching in Honduras. Obviously, there is a lot of confusion going on down there but clearly the Honduran people know more than we will ever know.

Please pray for Honduras and do anything you can to help in this situation.

Please:
If you are receiving this email it is because we need your help.

There has NOT been a coupe in Honduras , The country is NOT in crisis. This all started over a year ago when our president Mel Zelaya with the help of Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega began shredding the Honduran Constitution and setting the stage for him to become dictator of Honduras . As we neared the November elections that would seat a new president Mel Zelaya became more ruthless. Zelaya was informed more than once that his actions were outside the bounds of the Honduran Constitution. Zelaya earlier this year denounced democracy and announced he would seed an Venezuelan style of government, he then began receiving large sums of cash from Hugo Chavez.

This last week tensions mounted as the National Congress after a ruling from the Honduran SUPREME COURT that Mel Zelaya has committed crimes against the Constitution. As Chavez and Ortega offered Military assistance the National Congress of Honduras, The people of Honduras and the Courts of Honduras did not flinch, They stood beside their Constitution and detained by order of the National Congress Mel Zelaya for crimes against the Constitution.

President Zelaya and a small portion of the population tried to highjack the country and destroy democracy in favor of a Chavez-style government. Zelaya was shredding the constitution he swore to protect in order to stay in power past constitutional limits and firmly align Honduras with Venezuela .

President Zelaya was clearly, and more than once, informed officially that his actions were outside of the constitution and law. Given his obedience to Hugo Chavez and Chavez’s money, Zelaya was a traitor to this country in the truest sense of the word. I am writing to you as an American investor living in Honduras to express my admiration and respect for this country and how its government handled this crisis. They were faced with a difficult situation that was only growing worse. This was NOT a coup, but a criminal arrest. Hondurans should be applauded for how they handled this! They used their Constitution and stood firmly in the face of Chavez, Ortega, Morales, and Castro and said no to this form of Government. You would think the US would be applauding the situation. The US will if not careful give Chavez and Ortega the fuel they need to invade Honduras and remove our democratic form of Government. We can not believe the news reports and the statements by our representatives. We need your help. All Americans and Hondurans are franticly emailing and sending information to the US . We need you to forward this email to your local news station, CNN, contacts that you may have at any level of government. Email your senator, congressman, etc. Please pass this along. If the US ushers Zelaya back into power they are condemning this country to a communist regime.
Has a deal been struck between the US and Chavez for Honduras ??????
Written by Kent Burns
-----------------------------------------------------------

No big surprise, but the media is getting it ALL WRONG on what is going on in Honduras. This is NOT a coup. A coup is when the military or others take over the government without regard for law and constitution. This is not what has happened in Honduras at all.


In fact, the military did not initiate any of what happened yesterday. The Supreme Court--constitutional civilian authority--ordered that the military arrest the president because of his illegal orders and activities. The military followed the civilian orders but took no control of the government nor took any unconstitutional authority. The Congress voted unanimously--and that includes the majority of the Congress which is from the Liberal Party (Zelaya's own party)--to remove him from office and to swear in Roberto Micheletti, the next in the constitutional line of succession for the presidency. Micheletti has been the president of the senateand is a member of the Liberal Party. It is clear that this was not a coup but was a clear commitment to the constitution and to the checks and balances that are there for just such a time as this. Gen. Vásquez, the chief of staff who was fired by Zelaya for refusing to carry out an illegal order, showed great courage and commitment to his country, as did all the members of the military, in standing for law and justice rather than doing the "politically correct" thing according to Zelaya.


We are really encouraged about what has happened in Honduras in these days--signs of political maturity, not a return to the days of the banana republic. They are actually showing the rest of Latin America how to stand up to would-be dictators and power brokers. Good for Honduras!


Most sincerely,

Karin Thomas